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Are my concerns valid/ Should I just ask him out?
December 26, 2012 7:56 AM   Subscribe

I want to ask a guy out. I have some concerns and am wondering if I shouldn't. Please give me your advice.

I've developed a crush on one of my coworkers. I may leave my seasonal job soon, and when I do, I'd like to ask him out. I don't know him well at all right now, but I'd like to get to know him. But I have some concerns:

1) He's probably younger than me and while I don't know him well, I think we are in different places in life in terms of school and where we're headed in the next few years. I'm early 20s, he's late teens. This is my biggest concern.
(If I don't expect this to be a LTR, does this matter?)

2) We don't seem to have a lot in common on surface.. we have no mutual friends, didn't go to school together, are different ethnicities. People tend to date those they are similar to, right? I don't have much dating experience... but dating seems easiest with people you already know?

Despite these concerns, I'd really like to ask him out. I'd like to note, this is the first time I feel bold enough to even consider asking a guy out! If he's also interested, I think it would be fun going out together.

Should I hold my tongue, or ask a guy out for the first time?? Please do let me know if you think this is a bad idea.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total)
 
He can only say no.
posted by tel3path at 7:57 AM on December 26, 2012


What's the worst that could happen? Ask him out.
posted by something something at 7:59 AM on December 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just ask. Worst case he says no. Second worst case, he says yes, you go out and aren't right for each other, and don't go out again. You've really lost nothing either way.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 7:59 AM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think there'd only be an issue if you were still working together. Once you're no longer co-workers, there's no reason not to ask him out. Yes, he might say no, but that's the worse thing that can happen, and the possible upside is much higher.
posted by espertus at 7:59 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


People tend to date those they are similar to, right?

People who are happy with their romantic lives tend to date whoever the hell it is they want to date. Dating people you already know has its own pitfalls which make it no better or worse than going on a date with someone you do not know very well. You want to ask this guy out? Ask this guy out.
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on December 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ask the guy out for a low stakes date. That's the best way to see if he is interested and then you can see if the two of you click on more than a friend level.
posted by mmascolino at 8:02 AM on December 26, 2012


Definitely ask him out. It's the best way to answer all of these questions.
posted by doomtop at 8:03 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


we have no mutual friends

So? Make some.

didn't go to school together

This doesn't matter in the least.

are different ethnicities

It's almost 2013; I'm totally puzzled as to how this could possibly be relevant... unless your ethnicities are at war with each other and you currently live in that war zone? Otherwise ???

Why DO you want to date him? Is he funny? Smart? Physically attractive? Don't come up with a list of reasons why it's a bad idea; come up with a list of why it's a good idea. Then ask him... unless you can't come up with any.
posted by desjardins at 8:15 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


2) We don't seem to have a lot in common on surface.. we have no mutual friends, didn't go to school together, are different ethnicities. People tend to date those they are similar to, right? I don't have much dating experience... but dating seems easiest with people you already know?

No and no!

However, trust your instincts and date someone closer to your own age.
posted by John Cohen at 8:15 AM on December 26, 2012


Oh, my, so much drama. Just do it or don't and move on.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:16 AM on December 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


The worst that can happen if you ask him is that he says no.

The worst that can happen if you don't ask him is that you'll always wonder, and you might miss a terrific opportunity.

Go for it.
posted by xingcat at 8:16 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


We don't seem to have a lot in common on surface.. we have no mutual friends, didn't go to school together, are different ethnicities.

Having superficial similarities doesn't ensure a good date or vice versa. Ask him out and if it works out, great - if not, move on.
posted by ersatz at 8:17 AM on December 26, 2012


If he's also interested, I think it would be fun going out together.

This is really all that matters. Ask.

And good luck!
posted by inturnaround at 8:33 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ask him out. If he says yes, see how it goes. You are overthinking this. It is way too early to worry about whether you two are incompatible in the long run. Right now, you don't even know if you two have a good time together.
posted by Area Man at 8:40 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If he's also interested, I think it would be fun going out together.

This is really all that matters. Ask.

Agreed. You're not giving it a chance by worrying over the "What if?"s. I think you should ask him out and see how it goes. You'll never know unless you try!

This coming from someone who had an incredible time on a first date, but then texted said date the next day to say "thanks but no thanks, you're out of my league". Thankfully, said date challenged me on it, and things worked out. I was letting the "What if?"s stop things before they even started!
posted by gursky at 8:40 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just ask him out. If you go on a couple of dates and it doesn't work then... what? It happens all the time.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:28 AM on December 26, 2012


Why not ask him out for coffee now. Ask him some questions, see if there's anything there.

The thing about crushes is that the humans usually don't measure up to the idolized phantoms in our heads.

Go on a coffee date and talk to him. Either he's worth persuing or he's not. I'm thinking that he's not, but it's up to you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:35 AM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although you don't mention your gender, I'm guessing you're female, and (I realize I might be an outlier here) I don't think it's worth it for a woman to ask a man out. I came to this conclusion after years of unsuccessful dating during which I often ended up either "chasing" the guy, or, if a relationship ever got going, feeling taken for granted. I finally decided that if the guy wasn't interested enough in me to make the first move, then there was no point in me trying to force the issue. Soon after that, I met a great guy, and lo and behold, he asked me out.

That said, there's no reason to be totally passive. I agree with Ruthless Bunny: propose a casual coffee or a friendly beer after work, get to know him a bit, and see if you even want this to go anywhere. If you get any signs of interest, let him know if it's reciprocated.
posted by rpfields at 9:50 AM on December 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


He might be awesome. Can you live with not finding out?
posted by fearnothing at 10:02 AM on December 26, 2012


Why not, instead of asking him on a date, try to get to know him better, either at work or by casually hanging out? I have no problem asking guys out myself (I'm a woman) but not only do you not seem to know if he likes you, I'm not even sure if you like him. These are things I'd determine before I'd go bringing all those other reasons "why or why not" into the mix.
posted by sm1tten at 10:20 AM on December 26, 2012


Any guy who is put off by a woman asking him out is, in my opinion, not worth dating. So it's a self-correcting problem from my end.

However, if you like dating guys who might be put off by that, then waiting for them to ask is probably the best move.

You know what the answer to this is.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:28 PM on December 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


The thing is that you and he are already not dating. So if you ask him out and he says no, you've lost nothing. You might be embarrassed or disappointed, and those feelings can certainly suck, but you won't have ruined anything because there's nothing to ruin.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:30 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ask him out. He can say yes or no. I fretted over things like this so much in my teens and twenties. I really should have just asked the guys! Just go for coffee, for a walk, ice cream, museum trip, fair, shopping. It doesn't have to be a great romantic date. Try it out. If he says no, you will feel bad for a bit, but it is better than not trying.
posted by fifilaru at 12:50 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]



Any guy who is put off by a woman asking him out is, in my opinion, not worth dating. So it's a self-correcting problem from my end.


This.

Matter of fact — as a general rule, the answer to this question is always "communicate with this dude in whatever way you personally prefer to communicate."

If it "scares him off" or he finds it off-putting, then hey, you've learned that the two of you have incompatible communication styles, which means it probably wouldn't have worked out in the long run anyway. If it works well and he ends up interested in you, then you've attracted a dude who responds well to the way you communicate, which is an extra-valuable kind of dude to have attracted.
posted by and so but then, we at 1:01 PM on December 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Although you don't mention your gender, I'm guessing you're female, and (I realize I might be an outlier here) I don't think it's worth it for a woman to ask a man out"

The "guy who just goes along with it because it's a body" problem can be alleviated if, after the first date, you leave it strictly up to him to request the *second* date.
posted by tel3path at 1:01 PM on December 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, I don't recommend that you waft about trying to figure out whether he likes you. Eight years later you could still be agonising about whether he likes you. You already know *you* like him and that you definitely want to ask him out, so ask.
posted by tel3path at 1:04 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


rpfields, respectfully, I couldn't disagree with you more. Almost ever successful relationship I've ever had started with me asking the guy out. Bold women who like shy men who like bold women control whether anything happens.

That said, OP, it's all a matter of comfort, not convention. We have no way of knowing it the guy is straight, if he's shy, if he likes women who are bold, or if he's already in a relationship. What we do know is that you'll never find out if there's potential for joy unless you ask.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:19 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


How late in his teens is he? How early in your twenties are you? Is he in high school and you're in college?
posted by discopolo at 3:07 PM on December 26, 2012


Get him out of the office for tea, coffee etc. for work reasons. Then you can chat more informally with him. Besides, has he given any indication of interest on his part. Usually when a guy is interested he will ask you out. Although most men are flattered by a woman asking them out, wouldn't recommend it.
posted by pakora1 at 3:09 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hell yes, ask him out. Smile, compliment, eye contact. All it takes.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:18 PM on December 26, 2012


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